Holiness and Hebrews 12:14
Hebrews 12:14 is another “proof” text that is used for the peculiar and mystical doctrine known as progressive sanctification. What is wrong with this doctrine? It’s quite simple. It attempts to take ones eyes off of LORD Jesus and was accomplished redemption and puts them onto self, a recipe for doubt in the manner in which they do it.
Don’t get me wrong. We are to make our calling and election sure but this is an admonishment for evaluation of gospel doctrine, not calling for an examination of your behavior patterns as if they would affirm or deny whether one is truly a Christian. Even the false religionists have what can be observed as “good” patterns of conduct but the basis thereof is not from God-given faith but self-righteousness. These are dead works and from the outside they make look as genuine and as authentic as works produced from God-given faith. That is why believers ought to judge by the gospel and not deeds of the flesh.
In any case, the following is the aforementioned verse and interpretation thereof.
Hebrews 12:14 KJVS
Follow peace with all men , and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Saints are striving for the holiness (positional) that they already possess via imputation. We follow that holiness that others may have the same via that they too will see God if, peradventure, they be granted repentance. We follow it for the sake of others to be converted, not to prove our own. Here is another text that uses follow in that manner.
1 Thessalonians 5:15 KJVS
See that none render evil for evil unto any man ; but ever FOLLOW that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men .
It’s not suggesting that one must examine the deeds they do for assurance of conversion. This is not saying for a gospel believer to use their striving or lack thereof as a metric. It is not a Scriptural basis for fruit inspection in a progressive sanctification “Lordship” salvationist sense. The WCF and 1689 both don’t really seem to have a leg to stand on for this issue. Nevertheless, may God be true and every man a liar.
May our faith be in Christ and Him alone. Not the deeds of our hands is some supposed mystical work of the Holy Spirit. Remember the Holy Spirit testifies not of Himself but of Christ. If you believe you have the Spirit and it is producing “works” that take the spotlight off of Him, you may want to check your spirit.
Picture of a sacrifice unacceptable to God. Deeds of our hands produced not in faith. Dirty filthy dead works!
Picture of the sacrifice acceptable to God. Sacrifices offered up through faith in Christ and His ultimate sacrifice
Romans 12:1-2 KJVS
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.